Picture Perfect: Hang a Wall Collage

Picture Perfect: Hang a Wall Collage

Now that I just got a new place, I am constantly thinking about how I am going to decorate it. I have a blank canvas to work with so naturally I have been tearing through every interior design magazine I can get my paws on (and pinning like crazy). Throughout my many magazine raids, I noticed a lovely trend: Gallery walls–a simple and chic way to collage your favorite framed pieces together. (See, for example, the photo wall in the picture above from Young House Love. Isn’t it chic?)

I love the effect of filling an empty wall with a medley of photographs and pieces of artwork that have special meaning. There’s something lovely about arranging things into a perfectly masterminded yet haphazard cluster. A perfect mess, if you will. While the final look appears casual and uncalculated, there is actually a method to the madness. Creating a wall gallery is no easy feat. That’s why I’ve put together this guide to teach you how to hang a wall collage with finesse.

First, what’s hanging? Find an open wall and decide what you are going to hang.

  • Mixing the same medium is usually easiest–photographs, black and white prints, colorful artwork etc.
  • The pieces can either be the same size or varied.
  • It is usually best to frame and mat everything the same. If you want to mix it up, just be sure to keep it balanced.
  • If you don’t want to spend a fortune on frames, go to your local flea market and pick some up. If they don’t match, simply paint them a uniform color.
  • You don’t have to spend a fortune to fill the frames either. You can use scraps of leftover wallpaper, old photos, pages from a vintage book or even leave them empty (see photo below). Or use your favorite personal photos–it’s a great way to add a touch of warmth and personality to your space.

Picture Perfect: Hang a Wall Collage

Next, plan it. To avoid nailing a bunch of unnecessary holes into your walls, lay out your collage first.

  • Multiple frames look best when based around the following shapes: rectangle, diamond or square. Straight set rows are nice too. If you opt for straight, use a piece of string stretched between two pushpins as a guide along with a level to make sure it’s straight.
  • Groupings look most cohesive when frames are spaced tightly together (about 1 to 2 inches). However, if there is an extra large piece in the mix, give it a little extra room to breathe (an extra ½ to 1 inch should do).
  • Start with the biggest pieces first and then work around them if you are mixing sizes.
  • Plan out your collage on the floor by placing the frames on top of a big piece of butcher paper (more on the butcher paper later).

Picture Perfect: Hang a Wall Collage

Then test it. Just because the collage looks good on the floor doesn’t mean it will work on the wall.

  • Once you have arranged the collage to your liking, outline each frame on the butcher paper with a pencil or marker. Then cut out the paper outlines and tape them to the wall to visualize your collage. This is the time to move things around until it’s just right.
  • Frames should hang at eyelevel or around 5 feet. If you’re exceptionally tall or have very high ceilings, you can hang them a tad higher.

Picture Perfect: Hang a Wall Collage
Lastly, get hanging!
Now it’s time to seal the deal…

  • Once you have collaged the cutouts to your liking, install the hangers over the cutouts and remove each cutout as you replace with the actual frame.
  • If you mess up, don’t worry. It’s nothing a little paint and spackle can’t fix.

And there you have it–how to create your own gallery wall.

Are you going to give this a try?

XO Lauren

P.S. Check out my five favorite tips for decorating your home or space. I promise you will find them helpful!

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Photo: The Decoraista, Pinterest
Sources: 2Modern, Apartment Therapy, LilyRose, Young House Love

Categories: Decorate, Lauren Conrad
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  • Sarah Heckle

    AH, these tips are so good. Especially cutting paper outlines and testing them on the wall. It never looks the same as on the floor.

    Today I’m wearing LC Lauren Conrad from Kohls on my blog!!!

  • soupforthegirlysoul

    Great tip! My mom has a huge picture collage on one of the walls in her house!

    http://www.soupforthegirlysoul.blogspot.com

  • Kylie Rhodes

    Oh my goodness I have been looking for tips on how to get this effect! I have frames that have been stacked up on my dining table for months because I haven’t had the chance to plan for a collage. Now with your advice I can do it in one weekend! Thanks xx

  • Liesl

    I really like the white frames! :-)

    Liesl xxx

    http://www.pretty-random-things.com/

  • Stacie Grissom

    That is such a clever way to plan a gallery wall! :)

    Latest post: How to make easy geometric jean shorts! :)

  • Rachel Sanders

    I have been wanting to do this for a while to my walls! I love the room with the combination of coral white and zebra- so unique yet chic! xx

    http://www.rachelsfashionpatch.blogspot.com

  • Kizzy Barrett

    I love this idea! I am actually working on one right now in my living room.

    This is the site I used to help map out how to organize the frames (as well as how many to start with…I’d like to maybe expand it for the full wall, eventually)

    http://hearttreehome.com/2011/12/30/how-to-ikea-ribba-frame-gallery-wall/

  • fashionsontop

    This idea is so cool! I love the white picture frames!

    http://www.fashionsontop.blogspot.com

  • Kelby Peachey

    I found this guide on Pinterest to help with the layout (especially if you get really confused with this part – like me!)

    http://pinterest.com/pin/68398488061117780/

    -Kelby

    http://peachypains.com

  • Umbrella Drink

    I have been wanting to do this for a while now. Great tips!

    Check out my glamping trip here: http://www.umbrelladrink.com/2012/05/31/my-version-of-glamping/

  • Jaclyn Schler

    This is adorable! I have a blank wall in my bedroom and I really want to do this over my desk. Thanks for the inspiration!

    http://www.sharingmysole.com/

  • Alba Cuci

    This is fantastic! I will be moving soon and will try this! Thanks!

  • Tiffani Stuart

    So cool… I’m half-way tempted to do this, myself!

  • Stephanie McDonnell

    I have been collecting vintage frames from the thrift store to use for this exact purpose. I plan to leave them all open. So thanks for the tip.

    http://www.luxeboulevard.com

  • Rafael Centenera

    lol (^_^) //

  • Amy Breckenridge

    this is such a great idea…if only i had more wall space in my apartment! i love how they look in a hallway.

    xoamy
    http://www.cupcakesncouture.com/2012/05/neutral-wedges-platform-sandals.html

  • Morgan Hohbein

    This is EXACTLY what me and my roommates want to do in our living room in our new house! Thanks for the help and advice, I’m even more excited now!

  • Petra Zeller

    Love this Idea. I wanna do this for my living room :)
    xoxo, Petra

    http://www.sweetsoflife86.blogspot.com < – Check out my first Outfit Post ;) thanks

  • Melissa LaRose

    Love this idea, I am looking for fun ways to decorate my first house and this is something I will for sure be trying!

    On my blog I am currently doing a series of “”50 questions that will free your mind”” view the first set of answers here

    <3 Melissa
    http://scribble-n-dash.blogspot.com/

  • Christina Graci
  • Renos Fy
  • Larissa Wilhelm

    I’m definitely going to give this a try. I’ve wanted to for a while, but I didn’t want it too look like a mess instead of a perfect mess. Thanks for the tips Lauren!

    http://fitnessmisc.blogspot.com/

  • Cassandra Adams

    I have been wanting to do this for a long time! Where do you get butcher paper tho?

    http://prissinpearls.blogspot.com/

    Cassandra

  • Martin M

    I love the wall collage. It is such an amazing project :) XOXO

    http://www.look-scout.blogspot.com

    http://www.look-scout.blogspot.com

  • Cluny Grey

    I have galleries all over my townhouse; I love them, plus they are the only way to go if you collect art!

    Cluny

    http://clunygrey.blogspot.com

  • Nicole Ingman

    Great idea! I hope to try this out soon!

  • Shannon H

    wow, this is so inspiring. I’m moving next month and this is great inspiration.

  • Christine Rosko

    I love this. I’m moving when I get back from studying in Paris this summer and it’s my first apartment by myself. I keep looking around for inspiration to decorate and I love this idea!

    xadayinthelifex.blogspot.com

  • Jessa Kaiser

    This is such a pretty idea. <3

    http://jessaesque.blogspot.com/

  • Carly Taylor

    You should probably embed links and credits to where you got these images. It’s just proper form and internet etiquitte. I notice, in particular, that your title, first, and main image is from YoungHouseLove. Might be a good idea to link to that post, or, at very least, their homepage.

    -Carly @ Createlive http://www.createliveblog.com

  • Zeineb Abdelhedi

    <3

  • N. Yasmin Gomez-Geng

    I love wall galleries. I did one for my English teacher using some quotes but it was kinda small. :( Maybe I’ll print more…

    I found this picture which suggests some patterns in which to place the frames (if you can’t come up with a design or need a place to start)

    http://interiorspl.com/storage/Galeriesciennebeztajemnic.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1322517885076

  • Giselle Escamilla

    wow what a good idea!! I love hanging up pictures frames!!!

  • kayla thomas

    I did this in my bedroom and love it, it looks so nice!

    http://lovelipstickandtea.tumblr.com/

  • Mariella

    Ohhh! I’ve just moved and I want to do THIS on my bedroom’s wall!! Thanks for the ideas!

  • Aimee Oakes

    Great ideas! I agree with an earlier commenter that you really should post links to all the photos you used. Its bad etiquette and probably illegal in some cases where images are copyrighted. Now when people pin the pictures its going to come back to your website (which I’m sure is the point) and those bloggers/designers will not get the credit they deserve. The first pic found at younghouselove.com is from my favorite blog and they deserve credit for their work just like all the others. Please add some links!

  • Berenice del Carpio

    Wow, that’s a lovely idea! I always try to do things and change things on my walls and I love this one!! I have a lot of vintage photos to frame, so I completely love it!

  • Claudia Merrill

    great post! My mum has done this with black and white photos in deep brown frames going along out curved staircase. Its filled with pictures of my mum and dad’s family! So cute :-)

  • Michelle LaPorte

    I love photos!! I need to do this on my walls!

    XO Michelle

    http://michellelivinglifebeautifully.blogspot.com/

  • Gretchen Jarvis

    Wow! you are AMAZING! I’ve always wanted to do this but never knew where to start! THANK YOU for making it easy for us gals who don’t have a clue but want to! haha

  • Michelle W

    I love the gallery wall idea too, it’s so clever! The actual photo (the main one) is from my favorite blog, Young House Love (http://www.younghouselove.com). I am not sure about the other photo’s, but you really need to imbed a link or at least mention where the photos come from. The creators of these blogs (just like you) deserve credit for their hard work and images. Thanks!

  • Taylor Bonar

    I’m a picture lover, and I have so many pictures but nowhere to put all of them. I just did this a few weeks ago, and I love it! It is definitely more complicated than you would think, but totally worth it in the end! It creates so much more space elsewhere and really gives a focal point to a room!

  • cortney glidden

    love love love love this idea… my fiance and i are moving into our first house and im going to have nothing but blank walls to work with and im going to need all the ideas i can get for each room! i know that i would like an office space too… do you have any ideas for that i dont want it to be to girlie but i dont want it to be to a man cave either… a space that both of us can share but i still feel fashionable in :)))

    any ideas??

  • Charlie Ravens

    I’ve been wanting to do this for ages! Maybe in summer :)

    http://mylifeinaframe.wordpress.com

  • Melissa Panici

    This is an awesome idea! We just moved too so I would love to try this!

  • Emily k.

    I love it! With the butcher paper, I’ve also seen it where you arrange your collage on the butcher paper (on the floor), then just trace around the pictures and tack the paper up to the wall. Make the nail holes and then rip off the paper and hang!

    My latest post is on the MOST versatile piece in my wardrobe.

    xoxo

    Emily

    emilyannestyle.com

  • Farah Boussouf

    hey there can someone tell me how do we contact Lauren cause I need to expose her something in order to help me :) thanks y’all xxx

  • Linh Ly

    I’ll be moving into a townhouse soon and can’t wait to try this in one of the rooms! thanks!

    http://befashionfit.blogspot.com/

  • Emilie

    I heart wall collages! I want to do this in my home!

    xo Emilie

    PS please check out my latest blog post @ http://www.hungrydelights.com/

  • Jo Taylor

    I looooove this idea!! As soon as I own my own home and not renting I’m definitely doign this. It’s so striking and personal, love it!!!

    Jo

    -x-

  • Lisette Calderon

    i absolutely love this idea. i love having walls covered and this is perfect :)

    LC

    xo

  • Angela Williams

    This can look good providing it looks authentically eclectic rather than too composed. I had a sneaky peek online at Laurens new condo. Looks like a great space and in serious need of updating which is always so exciting. I’m not a weirdo just an interior designer ( which probably amounts to the same thing) . To reflect L contrad I am seeing:- Bathroom – cool white marble with contrasting Zebrano wood cabinetry with gorgeous Porto Romano lighting. Kitchen – Truffle gloss cupboards with sleek white corian work tops beauifully dressed with large silver urns with loose trailing plants such as myobs. That magnificent salon (which in the UK we call a reception lounges) . Needs huge sumptuous classic sofas. Lots of textured fabrics such as silks, soft velvets in cool muted blues, dove greys & silvery amythests. Deep amythest glass ware and vases filled with unashamedly glamourous peonies. Lovely

  • Gina Aldrich

    I love this idea! It’s so simple but chic. I would try this with vintage frames also.

  • Juno

    This is so neat! Wonderful idea, love it. Thanks for this post. http://qualityglass.com.au

  • Ashleigh B

    Hi everyone. I am from Australia and am making a wall collage. Does anyone know what stick on hooks are the best I bought some that keep falling down they are not sticky enough.
    Thanks ladies :)
    X

  • shannon benshoof

    Any suggestions on how to re-hang an ENORMOUS photo collage back to its original layout after painting?

    Thanks!

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  • Laser Tek

    Beautiful insights! My mom is asking me to do a wall photo collage and since I am not creative enough, I’m obviously looking and needing some help. Then I got here at this site and tah-da! Solve my problem!

  • Molly Rademacher

    I hung a gallery wall for my mom of about 30 pictures. I used wallpaper that has a 1in x 1in grid on the back. Hang it up, put all the nails in, hang the pictures, tear down the wrapping paper. Worked so well, I did a small one for my Granny!

  • Suzyq

    Wow, what a great idea! I’m gathering my materials for my gallery wall and can’t wait to get started. Thanks!

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